During their humble beginning in the 1950s, video games were considered to be just another toy for
children. Little did we know that it sought to become a multi-billion-dollar industry that appeals to
all age groups from all over the world. From arcade, adventure, pop culture and more, developers
have a lot to work with to create a video game that takes the world by storm.
Interestingly, gambling also plays an important role here. Although you don’t necessarily have to pay
anything to play a gambling video game, the connection is still very evident. Let’s take a look at how
gambling is a prevalent theme in a number of video games.
Arcade Video Games
The popularity of arcade games is undeniable. Although you won’t find as many arcades nowadays,
some are still open and developers are creating mini arcade machines, consoles etc. as a way to bring them back to life. So, where does gambling come in? Let’s go back a couple of years. Years ago,
players who enjoyed arcade games would bet money on the outcomes of multiplayer games. In
short, the winner continued playing, whilst the loser had to stop playing.
Simulated Video Games
Similarly, if we look at simulated video games, these offer what we can refer to as ‘free gambling’.
These games are classed as replicas of online casino games such as blackjack, poker, roulette, slot
machines etc. that you can play at an online casino New Zealand. In a nutshell, you don’t bet money
and you don’t win it either. In this case, players just win points and virtual coins. Some of these
include anything from the likes of Slot mania, Bingo Blitz, Casino 7, Doubledown Casino etc.
Nowadays, it’s very easy to find these games on multiple social media platforms like Facebook. With
over 2.50 billion monthly active users, it makes sense that Facebook installs these games as a means
to attract more registered users. Coupled with standard features such as Facebook Messenger, the
ability to post and tag photos, comments, news articles, videos, etc., the inclusion of simulated is just
another way to enhance the user experience. Another example website but from the other side of the world is Canadian online casino MrBet.
In-Game Video Games
It is also very common to come across video games that include gambling as part of the game in its
entirety. Some of these include prime examples such as the GTA, the Sims and Neopets. Additionally,
you might also come across anything from the likes of poker machines, spin the wheel features, slot
machines, scratch cards and more. In this way, players can try their luck at winning extra items or
virtual cash prize. Ultimately, these exclusives help players climb up the ladder as they advance
through the game.
In-App Purchases and Advertising
Currently, it’s also very common to see Instagram ads showcasing all sorts of games that you can find
on the App Store or Play Store. In this case, in-app purchases and advertising work hand in hand in
terms of the monetizing of a company. As a rule of thumb, such games are not that difficult to play.
You might need to master a few skills along the way, but essentially, it’s all part of the competitive
nature of these games. If we take games like Candy Crush, although you don’t need to have any
special skills, it still does the job and entertains players. In fact, it is estimated that it makes over $4.2
The Problem with Gambling Video Games
Although these video games are very entertaining, there is also a downside to them. Since they are
readily available on video games, social media platforms, the App Store, the Play Store etc., this may
be a problem. In this case, you’re not required to register and login as you normally would on a
casino platform. Whereas you normally need to present proof of ID and state your age, you don’t
have to do this with video games; thus, this is problematic when children are involved.
In an article featured on The Guardian, the House of Commons remarked that video game loot boxes
should be heavily regulated as casino slot games and that children should be prohibited from purchasing
them. As explained previously, sometimes gambling video games allow you to purchase items with
chests, packs, boxes and so on, where players can buy a selection of items and in turn advance in the
game. The point that the House of Commons tries to raise is that if there is a chance that these are
purchased with real money, then these games should be labelled as gambling. Additionally, such
content needs to be targeted towards the right age groups.
So, what needs to be done here? Are loot boxes considered as gambling games? The way forward is
to supervise what children are playing. Bottom line, they shouldn’t be encouraged to spend their
parents’ money on such games. The solution is for gaming developers and companies like Facebook
to regulate their usage. Whilst Facebook requires its users to at least be 13 years of age, this is still a
problem. Children can create fake accounts where they can lie about their age, and in turn, they can
still access them.
Whilst we don’t think there’s nothing wrong with playing these games, we encourage all readers to
take the proper precautions especially when children are involved. Problem gambling is a very real
thing; don’t let it happen to you or your family.
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